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I’ve been sick for days.  I’ve been physically sick with a gnarly head cold, aches, fever and so on.  I’ve been emotionally sick with depression to go along with the physically sick part and I knew from the get go they were related. I just didn’t know how closely related they were until I dug deep, deep into my psyche and got coached and read and processed and all that not really fun stuff because that’s just what I do. 

I forgot that depression (we are talking situational depression) is a stop sign after a person has been having all the emotions underneath the day to day activities, at war.  That’s right, I was feeling guilt and shame and embarrassment and elation and anger and rage and world-fucking weary and sad and all these guys were fighting it out while I was doing a really good job at not paying attention to this infighting because I was doing what I do; yoga and writing and writing a book and running and playing with pups and generally wanting really badly to do good and get an A and make a difference and help people and then no one wanted what I wanted to give them and I didn’t know what to do because now I’ve failed and I really just want to save all the animals and help my family and instead I’m the one everyone has to bail out all of the time and of course I’m speaking in generalizations and this is the longest run on sentence EVER! 

And, that’s all okay because depression says HOLD UP, you have to stop.  The Language of Emotions says, “In a well-moderated-psyche, depression acts as a kind of tourniquet when some part (or all) of you is off-balance and headed for trouble: it is a conscious decision made by your central nature.”  My central nature was making sure I got the message by sending in the back up cold to make darn sure I’m listening! 

Culture wide, we are not taught that listening to this stuff is okay.  Instead, we are coerced into seeing ourselves as disordered and believe me the first two days of my feeling like shit, I had convinced myself that somehow, somewhere along the way, I became so wounded that I was never going to get any of life “right” and that I was going to keep making dumb ass mistakes and I needed to sell my house, pay off all my stupid shit, and move into the apartment style room at my parents and regroup and rethink EVERYTHING.

It takes a village. 

I talked to my mom.

I have a therapist/ coach and I had an appointment already set up with her and she reminded me of the messages to be found in depression and then some things really started to shift and understanding came forward and that’s so freaking rad! 

Body-centered coaching and yoga are freaking rad and knowing where to go for support and knowing what to read and the questions to ask are all freaking rad!  This is stuff I get to do today and I know, it seems crazy and I seem a little crazy and can’t you just “be happy” Layne, and not do all that deep soul work and soul searching and…and…

No.  I can’t not do this work because I don’t have a choice, but to do it, because this is who I was sent here, or who I chose to be this time around and I’m sober and I feel all the feels and sometimes I use other things than booze and drugs like I used to all of the time to distract and avoid.  Other things like Netflix and wanting to get out of debt, only I spend all that time wanting in order to not just do it and then I use magical thinking without a plan and I do a dumb mistake, like spending money I don’t have and making a big commitment that is going to require more money and now I’m freaking out, only, “it’s going to be okay, because its’ been okay before when I’ve done this sort of thing,” and then my emotions go to war and thank god my depression came along to sound the alarm bells and I can bow my head and listen. 

I can take a Child’s Pose and ground myself and ask the questions for depression, “Where has my energy gone?” and “Why was it sent away?” and let my body move the way it wants to move and wait in my stillness and listen for the answers. 

“My energy went to the mountains to sleep, where it would be safe and I couldn’t find it before I was ready.

It (energy) was sent away before I did anything else out of alignment that would put me in further harm’s way.  It was sent away because everybody else (emotions) were at war and you are good at looking at most of your emotions but you weren’t looking deep enough and you were going to destroy your baby sprout of a business and your true self-esteem and self-love that doesn’t need to be validated by anyone.”

Fair enough.  I’m listening.  We (my body, my story, my soul, and pups) swept the front sidewalk, took a bath, ate soup, weeded the garden in the twilight and picked tomatoes, which we will share with the neighbors today.  We slept.  We still feel sort of shitty with these cold symptoms and low energy.  And, we are welcoming the family of emotions and energy back from the mountains. 

It is safe to come home.

Layne Linebaugh

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